Friday, November 30, 2012

Rick McCallum Retires From Lucasfilm

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By: Dominic Jones 

Steve Sansweet let it slip a month a go on the ForceCast that Rick McCallum, the producer of the Star Wars Special Editions and the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, has retired from Lucasfilm. Now Lucasfilm has (finally) caught up and released on official statement thanking Rick for his years of dedication to the franchise McCallum has worked with Lucas for twenty years now beginning in 1992 with the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and continued that partnership all the way through the Prequel Trilogy and culminated with Red Tails this past February.  McCallum, much like Lucas, plans to use his retirement to make smaller, independent films.

StarWars.com released the official statement today, with quotes from George Lucas. 

"Rick is a close friend as well as an extremely talented producer, " says George Lucas.  "No matter how impossible I made the task, Rick was able to overcome the challenges. In addition to putting together great crews and working miracles with the budget, he was instrumental in helping push filmmaking into the 21st century. He has a larger-than-life personality and made this amazing 20-year journey with him a fun one."  

In the statement McCallum thanked fans for their support over the years. 

"Thank you for being so welcoming, supportive, and so good to me," says McCallum to Star Wars fans everywhere. "You all made it the most worthwhile and amazing experience. I have nothing but the biggest faith and trust that where Kathleen is going to take Star Wars will be a bold, exciting, and daring future that will be worthy of all your incredible passion and loyalty for all these years. It will be awesome."

McCallum also commented on the future of the Star Wars series.

"There's only person in the world who could do this, and that's Kathleen Kennedy," he says. "There's no one more suited who is able to bridge the worlds of elite filmmaking within a studio context. The Star Wars saga will always be taken care of under her leadership. She is truly one of the greatest producers in America as well as being a great friend."

On behalf of The SWU, I would like to thank Rick for his dedication to Star Wars over the past two decades and for being such a great ambassador to the fans over the years!  Thanks you for everything Rick and May the Force Be With You in your retirement!




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How to Keep a Secret - Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn Speaks on Keeping the Secret that Shocked the Galaxy

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By: Dominic Jones

In the age of the internet it seemed, for while, that no secret was safe.  There were always leaks and, no matter what studios did, word always seemed to get out early.  Then, on October 31st, 2012, the world was shocked with one of the biggest announcements in the history of the entertainment industry and no one saw it coming.  Disney was buying Lucasfilm and Star Wars Episode VII was announced.  Naturally the question of how the monumental secret was kept has been on the mind of the world for some time now.  "We threatened everybody with a blast from the Death Star!" Disney's Studio Chairmen Alan Horn told Vulture.com's Kyle Buchanan.  

Horn recently sat down with Vulture and talked about the difficulty of keeping the secret and the future of the Star Wars saga.  "I think everybody was mature about it," Horn said. "It's important to keep these things confidential, so people just kept their mouths shut."  As for how many people knew about the purchase, Horn joked that it was "Probably a smaller group than knew about the attack on bin Laden!"  

When asked about the questions surrounding the director of the film, Horn told fans that the announcement would likely be coming soon.  Horn also commented on Disney's responsibility to the fans when it came to making episode VII, saying "We take very seriously the obligation to make a very good movie. Kathy is a very experienced producer; George Lucas is the godfather of that franchise and very, very involved on a consulting basis, so we feel very confident."

Read the full interview with Alan Horn over at Vulture.com



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Savage Opress Wallpaper

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By Chris Seekell

Savage Opress wallpaper created with Gimp and Picnik.com.

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Opinion: Who Shot First: Why It Matters

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By: David Gremillion

There are questions that are labeled as "eternal" to all mankind. What did Lincoln sound like? Was there a City of Atlantis? Why DID the chicken cross the road? For Star Wars fans, there is one "eternal" question that stands out among us. Who shot first?

On May 25, 1977, the world marveled at the cinematic sensation known as "Star Wars". We all remember Han blasting Greedo with no hesitation and then showing no remorse afterwards. Or did he? Twenty years later, one of the greatest debates (other than PT vs OT) in all of movie history was born. George Lucas spent an additional ten million dollars to bring Star Wars back to the big screen. For the first time since Return of the Jedi debuted, we saw the iconic "Lucasfilm" logo. Audiences went wild. Until Greedo shot at Han first.

Then...everything changed. But why did it matter? Why did this minor change make such a major difference in the minds of millions of people? This one change, above all other changes, didn't just change one scene; it changed the fundamental being of one of the greatest characters in the saga.

Han Solo is a rogue, a scoundrel, and a mercenary. He's a bad boy, but with a good heart. He's exactly the type of person who would shoot first and ask questions later. Other characters (Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly, Rick O'Connell from The Mummy, for example) are modeled after Han Solo. There is even a popular blog entry entitled: "How to Write a Han Solo Hero in Six Easy Steps!" What is step 1? Be a scoundrel. Nice guys are predictable. Han Solo? He's Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. No one knows what he'll do or why. He's Hondo before Hondo was Hondo.

With Greedo shooting first, now you've made him the good guy. Han Solo is now firmly in the camp of the protagonist. Poor Han, he was just defending himself from a ruthless bounty hunter who can't hit a target sitting (literally) two feet in front of him! Good guys are boring.

With one change, George Lucas transformed Han Solo from a loveable scoundrel with a heart of gold into just another good guy. We already have Leia (she shot first onboard her ship!), Luke, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, do we need another good guy? This story needs intrigue and someone who can be just bad enough until the very last moment when he sails in and saves the day.

When writing a story, you have protagonists, antagonists, and wild cards. Buffy, Vampire, Spike. Anakin, Grievous, Hondo. William Turner, Elizabeth Swan, Jack Sparrow. Sorry...that's Captain Jack Sparrow.

Why does it matter who shot first? With only a few seconds of screen time, you turn a legendary character into just another good guy. The inspiration for other "wild cards" vanishes.

You just turned Han Solo into a generic character.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.



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Lucas To Build Park In Marin County, California

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By Chris Seekell

The Associated Press is reporting that George Lucas plans to build a park on land that he is donating to the San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce near his Skywalker Ranch home in Marin County, California. The park will feature bronze statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones that will also be donated by Lucas. Currently a similar statue of Yoda resides at Lucasilm's Presidio headquarters in San Fransisco.

Lucas had previously intended to build a media studio on the land, but opposition from the local population hindered the project. This move continues the trend of Lucas selling or donating his vast media empire as he retires from filmmaking.

Hats off to George! Who wouldn't want Indy and Yoda in their neighborhood park?



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The 'Lighter' Side: Star Wars Detours Memes

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By Chris Seekell

Lucasfilm has been creatively marketing the upcoming comedy series Star Wars Detours by posting a number of hilarious memes on its Facebook page. We have compiled the best right here for your enjoyment!

Star Wars Detours
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Star Wars Reference on "Arrow"

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By: Dominic Jones

You never know just when Star Wars merchandise may show up in pop culture.  In this past week's episode of Arrow, the television adaptation of DC comic's Green Arrow, that's exactly what happened.  In the episode, the character Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) has a pizza delivered to her apartment and the pizza delivery boy shows up wearing a Mark Ecko Boba Fett hoodie.  Check out a screenshot from the scene below:

In case you're having a hard time seeing it, here's a non-obstructed picture of the hoodie:



Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and airs Wednesdays at 8:00pm on the CW in the U.S and at 7:00pm on CTV in Canada.



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Caption Contest Winners | 11/29/12

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By: Benjamin Hart

Yesterday we asked our Facebook fans to caption this picture as well 'Like' their favorites! We got a lot of great submissions, here are the top rated captions:

1st Place | Submitted by: Christopher John LeBeau



2nd Place

"Where I come from we play football with our feet, it's the proper protocol"
- Submitted by: Jaster Mereel

 "I am fluent in over 6 Million forms of communication and even I have no idea what you are talking about."
- Submitted by: Doug Bodine


3rd Place

"I am not fluent in BS. Is it a form of Bocci?"
- Submitted by: Jeff Donoho

I am fluent in 6 million forms of communication and 480,000 cultures. I have no idea what the replacement refs were doing...
- Submitted by: Greg Clark

The probability of the NHL lockout ending by December 31st is approximately 3,720 to 1.
- Submitted by: Brett Marlar

Sir, the odds of Kansas City making it to the Super Bowl are approximately three thousand seven hundred and twenty to one!
- Submitted by: Lisa Olmer Wilson

"little known fact, we were the droids they were looking for"
- Submitted by: Radam J. Starkiller

C-3P0: "I keep trying to tell Master Solo the odds of the Raiders making the playoffs, but he keeps telling me 'Don't tell me the odds'. He gets his hopes up every season. He gets more depressed over the Raiders failings than he did over Chewbacca's death."
- Submitted by: Gabe Coffelt



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Rancho Obi-Wan Action Figure Auction

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By: Dominic Jones

Steve Sansweet's Rancho Obi-Wan is what many collectors aspire to.  Now Rancho Obi-Wan is giving fans a chance to get closer to that dream, they're auctioning off 1,950 loose Star Wars action figures to benefit the museum!  The figures, which were donated by ILM model maker Fon Davis, make up approximately 85% of all officially made Star Wars action figures.  The auction closes on December 9th, 2012 at 11:00 am PST.  You can place a bid on the collection here.

Don't forget to "Like" Rancho Obi-Wan on Facebook.

Also listen to Steve Sansweet talk about Rancho Obi-Wan (among other things) in Episode 46 of the SWU Podcast.



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Mark Hamill Tells Fans to "Let Lucasfilm Make the Announcements"

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By: Dominic Jones

Mark Hamill spoke with the media at the premiere of his new film Sushi Girl, and naturally the subject of Star Wars: Episode VII came up.  Hamill was very cautious in what he said, though he hinted that something may be going on behind the scenes between him and Lucasfilm regarding his involvement with the film.  Hamill told E!: "Until I know more about what they have in mind, I think it’s better to let Lucasfilm make the announcements."

Do you think Mark Hamill knows more then he's letting on?  Or is he just being honest? Also, would you like to see Hamill return as Luke Skywalker?  Or would you prefer they recast with a younger actor?  Let us know in the comments.


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"Star Wars Angry Birds" Hoth Levels Released

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By: Dominic Jones

Fans of the Star Wars Angry Birds game may have noticed today that an update for the game became available.  The update features 20 new Hoth levels as well as the Princess Leia bird.  On top of that, there are two new bonus levels included in the update as well.




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General Grievous Wallpaper

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By Chris Seekell

General Grievous wallpaper created with Gimp and Picnik.com.

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The SWU Podcast Episode 61 | 11/29/2012

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In this episode of the SWU Podcast, Dominic, Chris, and Ben discuss the latest Clone Wars episode, A Necessary Bond, and Dominic interviews the crew of the upcoming fan film Smuggler's Run. Also listen for more breaking Episode VII news!

 

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Corey Feldman Wants To Play Han Solo's Son In Episode VII

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By Chris Seekell

Actor Corey Felman told movieweb.com on Wednesday that he wants to play Han Solo's son in the upcoming Star Wars films.

"More than anything, I want a part in that new Star Wars franchise... I think Harrison Ford's son is a really great idea, actually. Fans have always said that I would make a great Indiana Jones, a great Young Indiana Jones. We look very similar, we have the same type of bravado."

Feldman is known for his roles in classic films including The Goonies and Gremlins.

Do you think he's cut out for the role? Let us know in the comments below!



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Cad Bane Wallpaper

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By Chris Seekell

Cad Bane wallpaper created with Gimp and Picnik.com.

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